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BUSD: Donating & Volunteering
I would like to make a significant donation to help Berkeley
public school programs. What organization will use the
funds most directly? Would it be the Berkeley Public
Education Foundation? If I want to give to a specific
school, should I donate to that particular PTA? Comments or
-public school supporter
What a nice thing to do for Berkeley kids! The Berkeley Public
Education Foundation gives classroom grants directly to
teachers every year, so that would be a great way to get
money directly to school. Any PTA at any of the schools
would also be thrilled to accept your donation; PTAs are
sadly becoming crucial fundraising organizations for schools
and are no longer just paying for enrichment and ''extras,''
and funds that PTAs collect go directly to programs that
support all the kids at their school. Donations to PTAs are
also tax deductible. You might consider splitting your
significant donation up and giving a portion to each of the
schools so that all kids in Berkeley could benefit. Thanks
for being so generous!
Having worked for BUSD, all of the schools are fantastic and you couldn't go
wrong donating to any of them. That being said, if I had a sizable chunk of
money to donate and wanted to benefit a lot of kids in Berkeley, I would
approach 826 Valencia about setting up a branch in Berkeley. 826 Valencia was
started by author Dave Eggers in SF (and now has branches throughout the
country). It is run largely by volunteers and works on tutoring students in
writing. A branch here would offer chances for public school classes to attend
writing based field trips during the school day and for many other students to
receive after school help in writing. 826 Valencia has developed many creative,
engaging writing projects to challenge and inspire students. I also believe there
is enough support in the Berkeley community to get (and keep) something like
Btw, I am in no way affiliated with 826 Valencia, I'm just someone in complete
awe of what they are able to accomplish.
I would suggest one of the following: Berkeley Public
Education Foundation; In Dulci Jubilo, or if you want to
donate to just one school, Berkeley High Development Group
as all Berkeley students enter BHS (rather than facilitating
inequities in the elementary or middle schools by choosing
one of the elementary or middle schools over another).
In response to the wonderful person out there who is
interested in making a donation to support our Berkeley
public schools: I am Executive Director of Berkeley Public
Education Foundation, and we support ALL BUSD schools from
preschools through high schools. We raise funds for general
and specific purposes, as a donor wishes, and use those
resources for grants and program funding, as well as to
recruit over 1,000 volunteers from the community to support
classroom, after-school, library, and gardening teachers. I
would be delighted to fill you in more, and explore your
interests, if you want to contact me directly at 644-6244.
We have been around for 27 years, are a 501c3, manage over
$.5 million each year, and are highly regarded, trusted,
and appreciated by teachers, administrators, parents and
students alike -- we just keep our eyes focused on giving
directly to where the funds will be put to work!
Thanks for thinking of Berkeley public schools--they are
great places that benefit hugely from community support.
my work email:
I have been teaching elementary art in Berkeley for 14
years, and I have received many mini grants from the
Berkeley Public Education Foundation. Their support has
allowed me to create an engaging, materials-rich art program
reaching hundreds of students at three different schools.
They give grants to teachers at all of the schools for all
kinds of wonderful programs, materials, trips and more that
would not otherwise be available for Berkeley students. We
teachers truly appreciate BPEF, so any donation to them
could reach a whole lot of students.
Oh, I know what I'd do! I used to teach at a middle school in BUSD,
and I now have a child in kindergarten in the district, and what
continues to kill me are those 2 kids in every class who struggle in
serious emotional and behavioral ways, but get no funding because they
don't have a 'fundable' diagnosis. Teachers and staff scramble to
help them, as do school volunteers, but these kids need systematic and
skilled help - help with social skills, with classroom confidence.
Helping these kids in a real way would help the entire classroom - it
allows the teacher to not have to focus so much attention on one or
two students. I'd start a pilot program at one elementary school,
with a kindergarten, to figure out the smartest ways to meet these
kids' needs. I say kindergarten because early intervention is easiest
- at this point these kids are still very much interested in learning,
and being part of their peer group. Please feel free to email me if
this idea appeals to you - I'd love nothing more than to help you make
this page was last updated: Dec 19, 2010
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